Faulkner, William. The Reivers. New York: Vintage, 1990.
I’ve never had great luck with Faulkner. It takes me longer to read anything he has written because of his plots, character genealogies, and confusing dialogues. The Reivers was no different. Scottish for robbers, The Reivers blends a tangle of genealogies – everyone seems to have some blood link to someone else- with a complicated, detail packed plot and lots of run-on, rambling conversations. The Reivers is told from the point of view of eleven year old Lucius Priest. He gets involved in first the theft of Grandfather’s automobile, then after running away to Memphis, prostitutes, horse smuggling and the long arm of the law. Then there is something about a stolen gold tooth. Trust me, it’s funny. In the beginning I found plot and dialog cumbersome. It took me several chapters to get into the cadence of Faulkner’s writing, but once I settled in and became familiar with his style it was highly enjoyable.
Moments I liked: “I’m sure you have noticed how ignorant people beyond thirty or fourty are” (p 5). I have no idea why this struck me as funny…I’m beyond 30 or 40!
“…they-we-would load everything into pickup trucks and drive two hundred miles over paved highways to find enough wilderness to pitch tents in; though by 1980 the automobile will be as obsolete to reach wilderness with as the automobile will have made the wilderness it seeks” (p 21).
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called, “Southern Fiction” (p 222). You don’t get more southern than Faulkner!
Incidentally, this was Faulkner’s last book. Somehow, I find that sad.